The American Academy in Rome is one of the leading American overseas centers for independent study and advanced research in the arts and humanities. Each year, through a national juried competition, the Academy offers up to 30 Rome Prize fellowships including the prestigious Garden Club of America Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture. Described as an “estate of the mind," the Academy provides students with an atmosphere for unregimented study, independent work, and inspiration.http://www.aarome.org/
In 1987 the Garden Club of America donated its unique slide library of Notable American Parks and Gardens to the Smithsonian Institution: nearly 3,000 hand-colored glass lantern slides dating from the 1920's and 1930's, along with approximately 37,000 35mm slide images of gardens that date from colonial times. These form the core of The Archives of American Gardens, housed in the Smithsonian Gardens. The GCA’s Garden History and Design Committee continue to contribute to the AAG by documenting gardens, both large and small. With GCA’s volunteer commitment and financial support of a summer intern, the collection now holds more than 80,000 photographic images and records documenting over 6,300 historic and contemporary American gardens. http://sirismm.si.edu/siris/aaglocation.htm
The Botany in Action Fellowship (BIA) program at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens fosters the development of the next generation of plant-based scientists. The BIA program, originally started by members of the Allegheny Garden Club, Zone V, is open to PhD students enrolled at U.S. graduate institutions who are conducting plant-based scientific field research. BIA provides grants for study around the globe. GCA is pleased to partner with the Phipps Conservatory to spread the word about funding opportunities for aspiring plant scientists.
In 2001, Mrs. Eugene B. Casey, a local philanthropist in Washington DC, became concerned about the severe loss of tree canopy in our nation's capital. Discussions between Betty Casey, her Foundation, and Garden Club of America then-president, Bobbie Hansen, resulted in the Casey Trees organization that today maintains a close partnership with GCA. Casey's mission is to restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of Washington, DC and, since its inception twelve years ago, has established itself as a local and national leader in urban forestry renewal. http://www.caseytrees.org
With national headquarters located steps from Central Park, the Garden Club of America has a special relationship with America's foremost major urban public space. As part of GCA’s centennial celebration, the Founders Fund recently partnered with the Central Park Conservancy to renovate Central Park’s East 69th Street entrance and Dene Summer House landscape. The project will create a more inviting park experience using a harmonious blend of details, materials, and a revised layout that ties the entrance with the unique character of the Dene (valley). Park visitors’ visual senses will be piqued by new native plantings offering seasonal texture while preserving Olmsted’s original design narrative. Additional plans include enhancing the 69th street entrance with a more generous threshold opening and lining the walking path with flowering trees. The GCA anticipates project completion by 2013. http://www.centralparknyc.org/
The Garden Club of America has a long-standing relationship with the Royal Horticultural Society. GCA and RHS have annual reciprocal scholarships: the Garden Club of America Interchange Fellowship offers a British student an opportunity to study in the United States and the Royal Horticultural Society Interchange Fellowship provides study and internships in the UK for a year. Meetings of the RHS and GCA enrich our shared vision.http://www.rhs.org.uk/Home
GCA's first national conservation effort was the GCA Grove, located at the core of the world’s largest contiguous old-growth redwoods forest, in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. In partnership with Save the Redwoods League and the state of California, GCA provided half of the funding for the initial land purchase of 2,552.72 acres in 1931 and subsequently contributed to the purchase of eleven additional land parcels, the last in 1972. The GCA Grove now contains over 5,100 acres of majestic Sequoia sempervirens, an iconic American tree.
In late summer 2013, President Katie Heins announced the launch of the Bridge the Gap Campaign to raise funds to restore visitor access to the GCA Grove and to simultaneously retire the balance of GCA’s unwritten commitment to contribute half of the total land acquisition costs for the GCA Grove. At the 2014 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Katie was able to report that through generous contributions from GCA clubs and club members coast to coast, the campaign reached its goal and that all additional contributions received by June 30 would be used to restore the Day Use Area of the GCA Grove. The trail and Day Use Area restoration project are slated for completion prior to the 2018 Annual Meeting in San Francisco. http://www.savetheredwoods.org/
The Smithsonian Butterfly Habitat Garden, managed by Smithsonian Gardens, is an 11,000 square foot area that supports plant species having specific relationships to life cycles of eastern United States butterflies. Built in 1995 with funds from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, the Butterfly Garden is located on the East side of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. In 2000, the Garden Club of America designated the Butterfly Habitat Garden as one of its Founders Fund Projects and significantly expanded the original garden. This gift was in keeping with the GCA's goal of restoring, improving, and protecting the quality of the environment through educational programs and action in the fields of conservation and civic improvement. The allure and significance of this garden is found not only in the beauty of the plant species themselves but also in the multitude of artfully enameled signs with text that interpret particular plant/butterfly relationships.http://www.gardens.si.edu/horticulture/gardens/nmnh/butterfly.html
The Flower Arranging Study Group of the Garden Club of America became a member of the World Association of Flower Arrangers (WAFA) in 1990. The management of WAFA moves from country to country every three years. During its tenure, the host country organizes an International Seminar, stages a World Flower Show, convenes a General Assembly, and plans various other educational events. The mission of WAFA USA is threefold: education, the promotion of floral art, and conservation. GCA’s Flower Arranging Study Group was honored to co-host the 10th World Flower Show with the Assembly of Flower Arrangers (of the National Garden Clubs) in Boston from June 15-19, 2011.
The Garden Club of America has arrangements for mutual hospitality with garden clubs in eight countries:
The GCA now offers 27 merit based scholarships, fellowships and awards in the areas of horticulture and its related disciplines, botany, including medicinal and tropical, native bird habitat, conservation and ecological restoration, desert studies, landscape architecture, urban forestry, garden history and design, coastal wetlands, and pollinator research.
In March of this year, 86 students and scholars were awarded over $300,000 to support a variety of academic endeavors ranging from summer environmental study and field work, to graduate level research. Their study will take place in institutions across the nation and some will do field work around the world.
GCA Scholarships - supporting the best and brightest.
Nominations for the Montine McDaniel Freeman Horticulture Award will be accepted by the GCA Horticulture Committee between March 1st and Dec 1st for the following year.
Nominate a Plant - recognize a plant that is under-utilized but worthy of preservation, propagation and promotion.